Microsoft Announces New Customer Relationship Management Solution

FARGO, N.D., Feb. 25, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it will deliver Microsoft® Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the first Microsoft business solution built on .NET, later this year. Accessible from Microsoft Outlook® and the Web, Microsoft Customer Relationship Management will enable small and medium sized businesses to build more profitable customer relationships through increased sales effectiveness and more consistent customer service. Microsoft Customer Relationship Management is designed for rapid deployment, ease of use, and integration with Microsoft Office and Microsoft Great Plains’ back-office solutions, increasing information reliability, employee usage and productivity.

“Microsoft Customer Relationship Management fills a significant need for a single integrated view of customers that delivers on the promise of increasing customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and more profitable customer relationships,”
said Doug Burgum, senior vice president at Microsoft Corp. and president of Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions.
“Microsoft Customer Relationship Management represents a substantial business opportunity for our partners to deliver an entirely new category of integrated solutions specifically designed for the unique needs of our small and medium-sized customers.”

Microsoft Customer Relationship Management will be available as a standalone product as well as an integrated solution to Microsoft Great Plains® Dynamics, Solomon and eEnterprise. Its expected availability in North America is in the fourth quarter of 2002. Availability outside of North America will be phased and is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2003. It will be sold and implemented through Microsoft Great Plains’ reselling partner channel, and support will be provided by partners and Microsoft Great Plains’ award-winning customer support team. The solution will be available on-premise or as a hosted solution through select partners.

“We’re excited about Microsoft Customer Relationship Management and what it means for us and for customers,”
said Dan Taylor, president and CEO of Inc.
“As a partner, it’s a significant addition to our solution offerings, and customers can be assured of the commitment and service Microsoft Great Plains is known for.”

Microsoft Customer Relationship Management complements Microsoft’s other CRM offerings for small and medium-sized businesses, including bCentral™
Customer Manager, Microsoft iCommunicate, Microsoft Great Plains eEnterprise Field Service, Microsoft Great Plains Solomon Field Service and Great Plains Siebel Front Office.

About Microsoft Great Plains

Microsoft Great Plains provides business applications that help small and midmarket companies become more agile in today’s interconnected economy by extending specific information and procedures to employees, customers, vendors and partners. The business applications automate end-to-end business processes across financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business analytics, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support. More information about the solutions offered by Microsoft Great Plains can be found at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft CRM FAQ

Q. Why is Microsoft developing a new CRM solution for small and medium markets?

A. We’ve been working with these companies for years. We’ve seen that they want to improve their customer relations, but they haven’t found solutions that meet their needs for rich features that are also very easy to deploy and use and that work with their productivity and business applications. We’ve focused on meeting that need.

Q: Who can use Microsoft Customer Relationship Management?

A: Microsoft Customer Relationship Management is best suited for small and medium-sized companies.

Q: What does this mean for partners?

A: Our commitment to our partners remains unchanged. CRM partners have been briefed on our announced CRM solutions as well as the vision for the Business Solutions group. Most of our CRM partners are playing in a space above our target markets (enterprise segment), and/or have existing back-office relationships with Microsoft Great Plains.

Q: Does Microsoft have plans to target the enterprise in the CRM space?

A: No, we do not have plans to target the enterprise in the CRM space. However, through our strategic alliance with Siebel Systems Inc., we offer a CRM solution to medium enterprise customers.

Q: When will Microsoft Customer Relationship Management be available? How much will it cost?

A: Microsoft Customer Relationship Management will be available the second half of this year. Pricing information will be available later this year.

Q: What is Microsoft’s small-business and medium-sized business strategy?

A: The Microsoft Business Solutions division is focused on providing technology that meets the needs of all businesses, from the very small to the medium enterprise. With the combination of Microsoft Great Plains and the bCentral small-business service, the vision of a seamless on-premise and hosted solution is now becoming a reality. Additional technologies supporting this vision include desktop and server infrastructure and partner programs targeted at these customer segments.

Q: What CRM solutions does Microsoft offer today?

A: Microsoft’s Business Solutions division offers CRM solutions to customers across our target markets (small to medium-sized businesses and medium enterprise) that enable companies to build or improve their customer relationship strategy. Today these include the following:

  • bCentral Customer Manager, an online lead management service for small businesses

  • Great Plains Siebel Front Office, a co-branded and integrated solution for upper midmarket and medium enterprise customers

  • eEnterprise Field Service for medium enterprise customers in the high-tech industries

  • Solomon Service Series for medium-market customers in the HVAC and construction industries

Great Plains is a registered trademark of Great Plains Software Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Great Plains Software Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft, Outlook and bCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team for additional assistance.

Related Posts